What began as a solo studio project by award-winning songwriter Adrian James – known from his work as designer and violinist of Evanescence – has blossomed into a vibrant live act called "Das Gift." Defying classification, the music lurks in the spaces...
What began as a solo studio project by award-winning songwriter Adrian James – known from his work as designer and violinist of Evanescence – has blossomed into a vibrant live act called "Das Gift." Defying classification, the music lurks in the spaces between alternative, progressive and Darkwave genres, drawing comparisons with psychotropic acts like Tool, as well as Pink Floyd. Independently released in 2007, the pensive debut "Das Gift" (German for 'The Poison') is an elaborate 14-year endeavor with bilingual lyrics, odd meters, and eclectic instrumentation – from piano to electric mandocello and violin. James points to early albums by Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Cure's as inspiration for the pounding tribal drums and pipe organ. Smooth vocal melodies and touching piano ballads are woven through the symphonic album. Rising from the material are the singles, “Perfect Song,” “Beautiful Womyn,” and the Top Ten placing "Killing Jar." (Indie International Songwriters Competition 2008; OurStage - Gothic/Industrial Sept. and Nov. 2008) Alternating between guitar, bass, keyboard and even drums, James maintains his trademark emotional vocal delivery for the band's live shows. Also rotating instruments during on stage, Robert Dickey appears on bass, lead guitar and backing vocals. Taran Ware performs the band's signature pounding percussion and adds backing vocals. After recent concerts accompanied by a string ensemble, Jeff Strain (upright and 7-string bass, keyboard) and Dwight Denman (cello) are continuing with the band as a full-time lagniappe. Headlining the 2008 Halloween Cover-up (Little Rock, Arkansas), the band debuted a full set of Pink Floyd songs, which promises to carry over into future studio endeavors and live shows. With a growing international following – especially in the regional Darkwave and Steampunk communities – the band is based in Little Rock, Arkansas, and available for booking with a 1.5 hour set. The show usually features interpretations of the band's musical influences , including the songs of The Cure, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. The band is currently mixing a 19-track Pink Floyd tribute, complete with string ensemble, sitar and kid choir. The CD is up for pre-order and is due this fall.
Triply More Interesting Than [Evanescence]... by Virus Magazine, Germany ...”Das Gift” offers something surprisingly different. More sonically akin to the work of dark psychotropic acts like Tool, James’ creations are neither pop nor metal, but instead something...
One of the better albums I have heard... by Gothic Beauty Magazine, USA ...in some time now, and that is no exaggeration...WELL worth the wait. Das Gift features rich and meticulously arranged layers of sounds ranging from acoustic, electric, synthesized and exotic,...
Triply More Interesting Than [Evanescence]... by Virus Magazine, Germany ...”Das Gift” offers something surprisingly different. More sonically akin to the work of dark psychotropic acts like Tool, James’ creations are neither pop nor metal, but instead something abstract and melodic, cinematic and diverse… James’ voice seeps in like a velvet wind… Das Gift surpassed all of my expectations…James’ work here is quite captivating.
One of the better albums I have heard... by Gothic Beauty Magazine, USA ...in some time now, and that is no exaggeration...WELL worth the wait. Das Gift features rich and meticulously arranged layers of sounds ranging from acoustic, electric, synthesized and exotic, coupled with smooth vocals...these are certainly the most earnest and articulate lyrics of what I've seen lately. Highly recommended. - Jessika
The Next Pink Floyd... by Malice Radio, Pennsylvania ...I was transfixed through the entire album…It was at some point in [I’ll Never Leave] that I started to cry.
Emotionally Penetrating... by Morbid Outlook, New York Only a really anthracite soul would fail to be touched…by this heart-wrenching material.
Das Gift Is a Blessing... by American Gothique, Alaska an amazing journey of sound...musical structure, and lyrics worthy of a Triple Platinum. It's become my wife's Number One CD.
Remarkably Realized Vision... by Localist Magazine, Arkansas you wouldn't expect it to be the brainchild of just one person...sounds more like a symphony in several movements than a collection of individual songs…sneaks up on you and ingratiates itself
For a band dressed in all black... by Sync Magazine, Arkansas ...on a 98-degree day, Das Gift is actually a fun-loving bunch… Das Gift is fighting against the mundane music that populates the FM dial.
Eclipse of the Moon | Das Gift: "Any Cover You Like" a Pink Floyd Tribute by Arkansas Entertainment Beat I remember the first time a copy of Adrian James’s Das Gift was laid in my hand back in 2006. The package of the album alone amazed me. The outer wrapping had a sticker that read “ A Dark & Layered solo Album by former violinist of Evanescence, in the vein of: The Cure, A Perfect Circle, Pink Floyd, V.A.S.T., 17 tracks including: Beautiful Womyn, Perfect Song, and Killing Jar.” I then turned the album over to see what label he was on and to my surprise there was none. I was blown away when I was told he was a local artist, and this was all just from the outside of the album. I had not partaken on the fruits that laid within yet.
The cd starts with the track “Mutability” a beautiful entrancing piano intro that sets the opening to what I would call a story of one man’s journey through hell and back. The songs to follow cry out lines that strike at the core of all of us, like the line from the self title track “ Das Gift,” “As I wait a touch like death, from your cold skin and I’m content now. To hold my breath and just breathe you in.” An album deeply injected with tells of heartbreak and betrayal. The two most common things in human life. Adrian’s Das Gift album is full with unbelievable moments, one is the fact he sings in English then to German then back to English, just leaving you speechless. The album moves on from track to track bringing you closer to his return from hell’s decent with tracks like “Beautiful Womyn” a song in which he simply is telling a woman give me time and I will allow trust to come back for you, once again an emotion we all feel at times.
So after the release of Adrian James Das gift’s first album in 2006 what has he been up to you may ask? After countless shows, The Ravenwood Festival, and sleep. The project in which started as a solo venture picked up Robert Dickey as a core member and a number of local musicians to bring a new layer to Adrian’s vision. Zach Carpenter of “Some Guy Named Rob”, Jeff Strain, Dwight Denman, Taran Ware, and Anita Dickey have come together a number of times to give Adrian‘s beautiful music the live show it has deserved.
The next goal that was on Adrian’s mind was to deliver a long time dream of a Pink Floyd Tribute Album. Simply titled “ Any Cover You Like” that dream now has become a reality, containing 19 tracks of classic Pink Floyd songs. “Any Cover you Like” is on its way for later 2010. I had the honor of listening to some of the Tribute album and I can tell you in my opinion this is the “prefect tribute album.” With flawless covers and new layers added to beloved Pink Floyd songs; I would bet that Pink Floyd themselves would be proud. Once again Adrian James has proven without doubt to this reporter that he is a true artist.
THE SWEET: Das Gift knows how to deliver unbelievable music, breathtaking shows, and professional attitude. There first album is a sweet taste, a spellbinding eclipse of light and dark. When listening turn the lights low, turn off the phone, and slip into the world of Das Gift.
THE BITTER: With “Any Cover You Like” not due out until later this year, having to wait for the album is the only downside of Das Gift. The gaps between albums are the most notable “bitter” in the band. Though with great things penitence is needed; Das Gift may take a sizeable stretch in between album releases, but the product you receive is undeniably worth every minute of the wait.
OVER ALL: Das Gift’s self titled 2006 album release is a must have, and “Any Cover You Like” will be just the same. Two unforgettable moments in Arkansas’s local music scene. You can find a copy of “Das Gift” in Hastings, or download it now at Cd Baby, Digstation, Amazon.com, I Tunes, and many others. To find out when they are playing next or to catch the latest news check out their website: www.dasgift.com.
RATING: ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫